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Spotlight on Design: 3D Printing in the Automotive Industry

“Spotlight on Design” features video interviews and case studies, focusing on technology breakthroughs, hands-on testimonials, and the importance of fundamentals. Viewers are virtually taken to industry labs and research centers to learn how design engineers solve real-life problems.

These challenges include enhancing product performance, reducing costs, improving quality and safety, while decreasing environmental impact, and achieving regulatory compliance.

In the episode “Additive Manufacturing: 3D Printing in the Automotive Industry” (20:00), engineers from Fiat Chrysler Corporation (FCA) explain the importance of using 3D printing to test multiple design scenarios and develop solutions that can be quickly evaluated on test tracks. And Local Motors shows how it builds a vehicle from the ground up with a 3D printer, and without a traditional assembly line.

Also known as stereo-lithography (SLA), rapid prototyping and/or additive manufacturing, 3D printing is already being considered a game changer in the automotive industry. This episode highlights:

  • How FCA is using SLA to build a transparent rear axle to validate its design faster and more reliably
  • How Local Motors has developed the first 3D-printed car in the world
  • The importance of combining additive manufacturing to precise CAD and CAE tools to obtain the best possible pre-build parts

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